Obama's Simply Wrong: Whistleblower Protections Would Not Have Applied To Snowden

from the that's-not-true dept

During the Q&A portion of today's President Obama press conference, reporter Chuck Todd asked Obama about Ed Snowden and whether he was a "patriot," after Obama announced some reforms and even directly made clear that those who support civil liberties and greater transparency "love their country" and are "patriots." Except, Obama said that he does not think Snowden is a patriot, in part because he had signed the Whistleblower Protection Act and extended the protections to the intelligence community. This is laughable on a variety of levels, including the Obama administration's actions against other whistleblowers like Thomas Drake and William Binney, who did go through official channels, and then were subject to ridiculous investigations and (with Drake) totally trumped up charges on a bogus unrelated issue.

But there's a bigger point: Snowden actually is not covered by the Whistleblower Protection Act, entirely contrary to President Obama's claims. That's because the act does not cover contractors, such as those who worked for the NSA via Dell or Booz Allen like Snowden did. After the Snowden revelations came out, the Obama administration admitted that it was "looking at" ways to extend the protections to contractors, but at this time (and at the time that Snowden leaked) they do not cover him.

In other words, there were no legal protections under the Act, contrary to Obama's claims, and (worse) it's not as though the government has a history of respecting such whistleblower protections in the first place. Why bother when you can just trump up some other charges on those same people as punishment? Remember that this is the very same Obama administration that has directly declared that anyone leaking documents is aiding the enemy.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    vegetaman (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 2:00pm

    "the Obama administration admitted that it was "looking at" ways to extend the protections to contractors"

    Now THAT ladies and gentlemen, is lip service at its finest. As soon as this story subsides, it'll be looking like a cold day in hell before this thought comes up again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 2:09pm


    You mean a cold day in the Hell Department, 1600 Penn. Ave.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 2:12pm

    So... Mr. Snowden...

    It seems we cannot prosecute you for whistleblowing... let me run your name and email address through our handy-dandy database that you seem so fond of - and see what else we can drum up on you.

    Aha, I see there is some questionable email activity between you and a significant other, we might have to do a little investigation to find out what that was all about.

    Ah heck, we might as well go ahead and slip some info over to the DEA and IRS to make sure they do a thorough check on you and ensure you're not hiding anything either. Standard Operating Procedure.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 2:13pm

    There are liars, damned liars,

    And then there is Obama and his gang of thugs. I knew he was a liar when as Senator he first came out against FISA, and then turned right around and voted for the law, mumbling some sop or other about "combating terrorism". What a crock! And to think, that I voted for him, twice! Simply because Romney and all were such sleaze-balls. He is going to go down in history, ignominiously I think, as the President who did more to push our country into becoming a totalitarian state than any other... :-(

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Theoden, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 2:35pm

    Re: There are liars, damned liars,

    He is going to go down in history

    Not after they rewrite the History books.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 3:00pm

    it must be nice to be someone like Obama. you can lie your heart out and regardless of what anyone else says or does, you can just ignore the whole lot and carry on your own sweet way, penalising whoever you want over whatever you want!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Wally (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 3:04pm

    Presidential Policy Directive 19 WEPA

    Can somebody please explain to me how the Hell a PPD affects laws? I don't recall a PPD ever doing anything but stating a business model for the Administration. Wow this is disturbing :-/

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 3:11pm

    Re: There are liars, damned liars,

    "And to think, that I voted for him, twice!"

    People like you are the problem. If you KNEW he was a bad candidate then you shouldn't have voted for him. Period. Don't spew that 'lesser of two evils' bullshit either. If you can't stand on principle yourself to vote for someone who actually represents your interests, then how can you expect the people who represent you to stand on principle and do the right things on your behalf?

    “If worthless men are sometimes at the head of affairs, it is, I believe, because worthless men are at the tail and the middle” - John Adams

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 4:02pm

    Patriot, Enemy, Leaker, Al Killda, Whistle Blower, Terrorist, Citizen

    They were all the same to Bush and just as much or more so to Obama.

    Only Al exempt would be Al Gore.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Re: There are liars, damned liars,

    All the voting public who did not vote for a third party candidate are the problem, so it is a pretty big problem.

    Its not a Democrat or Republican issue. Its a "Just say no to the same old broken politics," issue. Its better to build momentum to a change than it is to give in to the status quo and go through the same old routine again and again in hopes that one Republicrat elite candidate will screw you less than the other.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    JWW (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 6:04pm

    It would be nice

    It would be nice if we lived in a world where whistleblowers like Snowden were protected and lying sniveling civil "servants" who worked at the IRS could be forced to tell us, the people, how they carried out their jobs.

    But alas, we don't live in that world.

    Why the hell does anyone continue to trust this administration at all!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    StayedAtHolidayInnLastNight (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 6:12pm

    The Truth

    Obama says whatever he wants to. Either he is a liar or just stupid. Or someone has blow job pictures and he says what he is being told.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    AmericanGulagAuthor (profile), Oct 20th, 2013 @ 5:01pm

    Americans closer than ever to the American Gulag

    It appears that NSA thugs and thugs in general feel "protected enough to get away with anything" under the Obama admin, which may not be entirely Obama's fault. I am not making excuses for Obama, since Obama is aware of the lies, and he doesn't take action. Moreover, many African Americans seem to trust the bad guys, not the decent people who really serve their undeserved populations. Take Detroit, for ex., a symbol of African Americans, and under the Obama Admin., it has gone bankrupt. Ironically, many African Americans who appear to oppose Obama are commis who do not care for African Americans, either.

    We are in charge, D.C. works for us. We need to demand that the next election must not be about money, but about honestly serving. Say what you like about Romney, yet Romney would have at least turned the economy around. Romney is a good family man w/ American values. He cares for the USA.

    "Ms. Quixote Goes Country - Raised on the Marxist Frontier", a novel testifying that there is a Marxist in your soup.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Apro Blogs, Feb 14th, 2014 @ 6:02am

    Response to: vegetaman on Aug 9th, 2013 @ 2:00pm

    I voted for Obama and I'm a Republican!
    I feel like a damn fool every time! I believed the fuctuating media - when every libertarian out there warned us ... ALL OF US! How they are both the same party of Fascists - who will certainly pay a price - if any of these puppets try and grow some brain matter and go against their corporate handlers. Edward Snowden is literally 'Snowed-In' in Russia. It will take the American People to literally dig him out of a situation that many of the ball-less bitches that are claiming to "represent" us ...who, by the way, are rushing to the microphones - after abandoning one of their Grandparents on a snow covered peak (grandma was starting to become a burden) to suck-up even more to the highest corporate bidder to spout the next scripted bullshit WE are willing to half-listen to in the next 9-second soundbite on the way to cramming our faces with some kind of suger-salted dust (we like to call snacks) and hurry-up back to the our corptopocratic X-Boxes in hopes to be able to relate to the next soul-less, incapacitated, ignoramus who barely has any educated thinking of his own.(Thank you Anthony Sutton for not becoming a 'Sheepole'!)OF COURSE I COULD...RAMBLE ON... but then...I probably lost most of you as soon as I started mentioning some guy named Edward Snowden... thanks to those of you who Hung in here to allow me to try and melt your ice!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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